Featherweight Fanatics Archives



Featherweight Fanatics A Service of Sue Traudt's Valley Brook Botanicals

Digest of postings from Thursday, October 21, 2004 

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From: JennDevine1@aol.com
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 21:28:52 EDT
Subject: Re: refurbished 222?

Hello everyone,  I purchased a 222 from a very reputable seller and I know I 
will do more business with this person in the future.  But I have a question 
for everyone.  I paid $1,100 for a 222k that was rated very high in condition.  
It arrived yesterday and I was disappointed to find that it is a refurbished 
machine.  The removable bed has all new paint and decals, the decals were 
applied in a sloppy manner and you can see the edges of the decals quite easily, 
the edges are not supposed to be showing.  The gold filagree type decoration 
that is usually on the vertical arm, facing the needle bar, was not even 
applied.  The decal for "made in Great Brittain" was placed on crooked and is so 
smeared you can't tell what it says.

I know I asked for a machine with a high rating but is a refurbished machine 
with sloppy decals worth what I paid for it?  If it is, I don't mind paying 
that money.  The person I bought it from was very friendly, promised me a refund 
if I wasn't happy, and I know I'll do business with this person again.   Am I 
just being picky?  Or should I be thrilled with the machine as it is.  It 
does sew very well.

~ Jenn

Design Inspirations
Research Triangle Park, NC

Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 18:10:38 -0700
From: James Sorrell 
Subject: Hello 

Hello All
Graham and I are on the same page, but I didnt explain well enought what 
I meant by having a test fabric under the pressure foot.
What I meant was that prior to shipping, insist that the seller test the 
machine and leave it under the pressure foot, not on his pictures. This 
way there is no mistake if the machine was not as described.
A wise buyer asks before bidding if the machine is guaranteed to sew. 
This will also insure that the machine is fitted with the bobbin case.
As ever

From: "Ardith" 
Subject: Buying on e-bay
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 17:56:17 -0700

Jim said:
 Have them
 >thread the machine and run a test sample and leave
 >under the

This is interesting because if I'm looking at a machine on line and there is
that test piece, my first thought is *what is it hiding*? Now if someone I
*know* lists a machine with the test cloth, I wouldn't think twice. My very
favorite way to buy a machine is from one of *usins*. I bought one e-bay
machine before I knew to be careful. The *near perfect* isn't. I have bought
machines for some on this board and have *never* been led astray or
disappointed. Not only machines, but repairs and parts. Just my never to be
humble opinion.
Ardith in Reno

From: "Cynthia Garcia" 
Subject: naming our FWs
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 19:23:36 -0500

Barb Brummond wanted to know how we name our FWs.  Well, I had a 222K I 
named "Matilda" after the song, Waltzing Matilda because she came from 
Australia.  I have another made on Feb 29th, Sadie Hawkins Day, so of 
course she is "Sadie."  Another I sew with all the time was made on my 
birthday and I call her "C.D." short for my name Cynthia Darlene.  Then 
there is one we picked up in Ann Arbor, MI and her name is "Annie."  The 
centennial I bought from Graham in England is named "Vivian" after the 
famed british actress Vivian Leigh.  And so the story goes.  I always 
thought I look for one made on Valentine's Day, but I never got that 
far.  I'm not sure what I would have called her!
Have fun naming your new baby!
God Bless,
Cindy Garcia
in cool NE Illinois

From: "Linda Barton" 
Subject: new FW Fanatic
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 16:26:54 -0500

This is my first posting as I'm a new FW Fanatic in every sense of the 
word. After 50 years of longing for one, I finally bought my first one 
in April and now have just acquired my 12th one. Nothing obsessive about 
me! I set my alarm for 3:30 one morning to buy a 222 in England on eBay. 
It's beautiful!

Home is in New Mexico where I have a terrific technician who gets them 
up and running. But my husband is building a hospital in Mexico City, so 
we essentially live where the work is. I'm a member of the Mexico City 
Quilters' Guild and have sold two of my featherweights to fellow 
members. I think I can sell one each time I bring one across the border. 
I'm looking for a Spanish instruction manual (or copy of one) as one of 
the new owners doesn't speak English. Luckily the photos are easy to 
follow. If anyone can help us out with a Spanish manual, I'd appreciate 

I also am on the lookout for a Mexican-built FW as there was a factory 
in Queretaro, north of Mexico City, in the late 50s. An antique dealer 
has found several in the past, he reports.

Gerald in Hot Springs is getting ready to paint one of my beat up 
machines and I'm excited to see it!

Should I post the name and ID of a crook on eBay who advertised a 1957 
machine in perfect working order then shipped a beat up 1938 model in a 
cracked case? She had fictitious telephone number, recently changed ID. 
I've filed a claim against her requesting mediation. She ignored it 
until it expired. Fortunately, I paid for the machine with a credit card 
and it's now being investigated by my card company. I also have filed a 
fraud claim with eBay. Is there a formal black list? Or just word of 
mouth to alert others of crooks like this? The machine is probably worth 
what I paid for it, it's just maddening to have to deal with such 
dishonest people.

Please don't assume that because most of you have been collectors for a 
long time and have experience with every aspect of these wonderful 
machines that your postings are repetitive. Because there are some of us 
who have lots to learn. Thanks for sharing!

Linda, the nomad

Subject: Chocolate Teapot
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 18:21:23 -0400
From: "CJ Glennan" 

Poor Graham, I can only imagine he is banging his head against a
dilapidated featherweight carrying case wondering how we ever won the
revolution!  A chocolate teapot would be rather like a "screen door on a
submarine" or as they say in the country "teats on a bore hog"
....Useless (at least for the intended purpose, personally I would love
a chocolate teapot especially if it was dark, semisweet )


Where quilting is taking a back seat to continued work on "Fair Havens"
our Nor'Sea 27 who is about to sport a "new outfit" of beautiful Tan
Bark Sails!

From: "Juell" 
Subject: Tan Featherweights   
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 12:41:51 -0700

Hi Feathers:
After I read Robert Hamilton's assessment of white (celery) FWs on 
Wednesday's (10/20) digest, I got to wondering if some of his conclusions 
might apply to tan FWs as well.  Anyone care to comment?
Mary in Fiddletown, CA, where it's a crisp and sunny autumn day. 

From: "Judy Howe" 
Subject: Lightly Turquoise 221s
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2004 23:09:24 -0700

 Bob Hamilton said regarding the white, or turquoise, or celery green 

Singer was definitely trying to cut manufacturing
costs on the 221's.

I couldn't agree more.  I could see and feel the difference right away.  
But, I had to have one.
They work, but they just don't perform like the good old black FWs from 
the '30s, '40s, and '50s.

Judy Howe in the Beautiful Pacific NW . . .  You should have seen the 
Skagit Valley in all its beauty today!

From: Barbnlamont@aol.com
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 14:53:25 EDT
Subject: Re: FW Fanatics 10/18/2004

Sharon said, "once I reduced the foot
pressure I had no trouble at all sewing the corduroy and it turned out
    I took the Ray White sewing machine repair class this summer, and after 
we serviced the machine, it had to sew through EIGHT layers of denim, as one of 
the tests of how well we had done.  My FW breezed through with flying colors! 
 Barb in Aberdeen, WA

Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 11:23:35 -0700
From: ikwlt@cox.net
Subject: knitting socks

Ann said: 
I have also taken up knitting socks.  Don't everyone laugh out loud at 
once, now.  It is very fun.  It is that yarn that works up into 
something that looks like a knitted pattern.  Lots of nice sock stuff on 
the web and encouraging help from other knitters.

Judy said:
  I, too, have taken up knitting socks.  They are so COMFY!   I learned 
to knit during WWII when I was 9 and my Mom and her friends were 
knitting sweaters, etc. for the soldiers.  Last April I started my first 
pair.  I am now finishing the toe of the second sock of my 3rd pair.  I 
just keep another pr. going so I can take it along or knit while I rest 
a few minutes.  I have the yarn for 2 more pair.  I'll be toasty this 
winter while I weave on my 4 shaft Harrisville loom.

you both made me smile with your 'confessions' about knitting socks.  my
gandmother (who taught me to sew and i have her 403 slant-o-matic) knit
socks all the time and my dad, her son-in-law, just loved them. she would
often make socks with designs like green socks with white christmas trees,
and when she passed away that was the end of hand knit socks for him.  he
passed away about a year ago and when i went thru his things there were
several pairs of socks she had made.  i kept them and gave away brand new,
never been used socks.  what a wonderful memory of both my grandmother and
my dad!  it's nice to have the list back to 'normal.'


From: "Nancy Metzger" 
Subject: missing screw
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 09:59:25 -0400

Hi, I was wondering if anyone has the missing part I am looking for.  I 
have a 301, and it is missing the needle clamp position screw.  This is 
the little tiny black screw that sits on the left side of the clamp, not 
the needle clamp thumb screw on the right.  It is part # 51308, same as 
the Featherweight.

Nancy in KY

Subject: Chocolate Teapot
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 07:14:37 -0400
From: "CJ Glennan" 

Poor Graham, I can only imagine he is banging his head against a
dilapidated featherweight carrying case wondering how we ever won the
revolution!  A chocolate teapot would be rather like a "screen door on a
submarine" or as they say in the country "teats on a bore hog"
....Useless (at least for the intended purpose, personally I would love
a chocolate teapot especially if it was dark, semisweet )


Where quilting is taking a back seat to continued work on "Fair Havens"
our Nor'Sea 27 who is about to sport a "new outfit" of beautiful Tan
Bark Sails!

Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 08:06:57 -0700 (PDT)
From: Debbie Guidi 
Subject: Thanks For The Explaination

Hi All,
Thank you to all who explained what a Chocolate Teapot is to me.  I had literally never heard the
explaination before.  I guess I've led a more sheltered life than I thought!
I read also the comments on the white Featherweights and I agree that they don't have the pizazz
of some of the older models.  But, when I bought mine (off ebay, actually.  I was lucky & was
working with a good seller), I got it for a much better price than any of the black Featherweights
were going for.  Plus, I had already bought my fake & as I said, I've been lucky with that one, as
it sews pretty well.  
Maybe someday, I'll find another Featherweight within my price range (which is a lot more limited
since I had to go on disability 4 years ago).  I keep watching, but haven't seen one I can get
yet.  But, it's fun to keep looking!
Debbie in IL

From: "Cynthia Garcia" 
Subject: just a little blah, blah, blah from me
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 09:00:19 -0500

Hello Everyone,

I agree with Ruth Gillmore from CA about settling in for a day of sewing 
on the FW when the weather is nasty.  I am a native born and raised 
Californian, but I have learned to love it here in NE Illinois the 17 
years I've been here.  I look forward to January, February, and March 
because I get most of my serious quilting done while the snow is gently 
falling outside my window.  Interestingly enough, I usually lose a few 
pounds as well, because I'm not running out in my sandals for summer's 
ice cream and Taco Bell for lunch!  It's just a neat time of year I look 
forward to!

I am thinking of selling my Blackside FW soon to try to pay off a couple 
of bills before hubby retires at 62 next summer.  I will let everyone on 
the post know if I list "her" on ebay.  It is so hard to part with 
because it is one of my best machines both in cosmetics and working 
ability.  She runs fast and smooth.  But, because it is a rare one, I'm 
afraid to use it for fear of scratching the bed, etc.  So, it sits in 
it's pristine box in my bedroom.  Someone who collects AND displays FWs 
would probably get more of a thrill out of having her.  Hmmmmmm,  a hard 

Along that same note, DH has a vintage ' 71 Corvette that he needs to 
part with as well.  He says it's his last link to his fun loving 
bachelor days.  Ah, men and their cars!  But the bottom line is, we are 
both getting too old and too wide to get into it and drive it, so the 
thrill is gone, (at least for me it is.)

I'm glad we are coming back to sharing about more than just the FW's.  
It makes us more of a little family to post about a few personal things 
as well.  If you don't want to read all of this, you can just scroll on 

Well, I will close and encourage all in the USA to VOTE!  It's gonna be 
a close one.  Each vote will count.
God Bless,
Cindy Garcia
by the lake in Illinois

 Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 11:26:31 +0100
 From: Graham Forsdyke 
 Subject: Re: Featherweight Fanatics Tuesday, October 19, 2004
 >To  Bob  who said, I came to
 >following conclusion. Singer was definitely trying
 >cut manufacturing
 >costs on the white/green 221's.
 >I think the weak point will be the lugged belt.
 >It may last a long time but not as long as steel
 gears. When the belt
 does quit you may have a hard time finding a
 True, it was an exercise in cost cutting but that
 lugged belt was a 
 big technical advance.  I've probably had hundreds
 through my hands 
 and never one where the belt was even worn, let
 alone needed 
 It meant a quieter machine with, in theory, less
 power loss and 
 fractionally lighter.
 >Graham Forsdyke
 >Purveyor of fine Featherweights to the gentry
 >ISMACS London
 >Bert's Vintage Repair Book Book: 
From: "Gerald" 
Subject: Vintagesingers
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2004 06:17:25 -0500

Jo Ann, had this to say,
I was a member of Vintage singers and quit posting because the moderator
humiliated and embarrassed me. I simply asked if anyone was going to a FW
maintenance class, and if so to contact me off-post because I wanted to go.
The moderator made a very rude comment about my post, meant to embarrass me,

How many of you out there belong to the Vintage singer list any way? Why 
would the owner do some thing like this? What kind of problem does he have 
to do some thing like that?

A week or so ago one of the FWF members emailed me and was wondering why I 
didn't belong to it, and I was thinking about joining it, but now I have 
some dough's about it.  Any way welcome Jo Ann, and I hope no one on this 
list will be that rude .

The painter of Featherweights in a Rainbow of Colors
In Hot Springs, R-CAN-SAW 

From: "Juell" 
Subject: Found FW's and  Friends  
Date: Wed, 20 Oct 2004 16:26:23 -0700

Hi Feathers:
I say, "Well said!," to Jacque in Delaware's post of 10/18.  I thoroughly 
enjoy reading both on-topic and off-topic FWF posts, and if something does 
not interest me I just pass it by and go on to the next one.  Easy as pie!
Here's my story about a found FW.  Following her mother's death a number of 
years ago, a friend of mine rescued a "little black box" from a huge pile of 
"rubbish" that had been discarded for the garbage collector.  My friend, 
Linda, said she noticed the black box and thought it was cute.  She didn't 
know that there was a sewing machine inside of it until she opened it.  The 
box and FW have been sitting in Linda's closet ever since and, when she told 
me about it, I suggested that she bring it over to my house so that I could 
see if it sews.  When I saw it I told Linda that she'd rescued an honest to 
goodness treasure...she had no idea!  The FW is a 1947 beauty, made in 
Elizabeth, NJ, and I would guess it to be a condition 8 on Graham's scale. 
The only sad thing about it was that it had only one a presser foot, and it 
was from a Singer Model 306 (we'll never know the answer as to how that foot 
came to be on Linda's mother's FW).
So, I went in search of a the proper "basic" (does this foot have a name?) 
FW foot.  I called FWF member and friend, Jim Sorrell, and he traded the 306 
foot for the proper FW foot and also provided us with a manual for Linda's 
FW (thank you, again, Jim).  I subsequently cleaned the FW for Linda, and I 
supplied her with some good cotton threads (Mettler) and the correct needles 
(Schmetz)...I have no affiliation with either organization, but know their 
products to be among the very best.
I don't know if Linda does much if any sewing, but I do know that she has a 
beautiful family heirloom Featherweight waiting for her when she's ready to 
begin.  BTW, Linda's FW sews a perfect stitch!
Mary in Fiddletown, CA, where incredibly stormy weather has given way to Mr. 
Sun, temporarily at least.  And bless all of that rain; it's helped to 
extinguish recent forest fires here in northern California. 

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